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It’s a big disappointment not coaching Eagles — Saintfiet

Seven years after missing out on the Super Eagles position, Gambia head coach Tom Saintfiet still regrets not coaching the three-time African champions.Information Guide Nigeria

Saintfiet and Frenchman Paul Le Guen were recommended to the Nigeria Football Federation’s Technical Committee as possible replacements for Sunday Oliseh, who quit as national coach in 2016.

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However, while Le Guen, who was apparently the NFF’s favoured option for the job, declined the offer, the NFF hired Franco-German Gernot Rohr, who was not initially considered for the post.

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Saintfiet stated that the former president of the federation, Amaju Pinnick, denied him the opportunity to coach the squad after the NFF Technical Committee recommended him for the position.

“Yes, in 2012 first of all, the minister of sports decided he wanted a local coach when I was already announced as the new technical adviser chosen by the technical committee at that time, which had (Austin) Okocha, Garba Lawal and Christopher Green. Again in 2016, I was close to the job, I was to get the job with the local coach Salisu Yusuf, but they chose Paul Le Guen for the job.NYSC Portal

“He refused and it would have been normal that I would have been there with Yusuf. I considered myself as the second or third choice, but it was Amaju Pinnick who didn’t follow the technical committee’s decision and went for Gernot Rohr, who was not shortlisted; it was a big disappointment.

“Then I went to Bangladesh and got a lucrative offer for a short term, but the ambition was always there to coach Nigeria and guide them to a successful AFCON and also guide them to World Cup success.”JAMB Result

When The PUNCH asked Pinnick, a FIFA Council member, if Saintfiet’s claim was true, he replied, “Not at all.”

Check: JAMB Result

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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